How-To: Making Pork Rillette with Chef Steven Mary
In this second installment of our pictorial how-to series (in the first, we made kimchi with chef EJ Jeong of Cham Korean Bistro in Pasadena), we visit chef Steven Mary of Pinot Bistro, who teaches us to make the studio City's restaurant's recipe for rillette.
Rillette isn't as scary as it sounds. In fact, it's a perfect dish when you have guests coming for brunch or lunch. You can prepare it a day in advance, take it out of the fridge half-an-hour before mealtime and serve it with some fruit compote, toasted bread, pickles and salad. The version at Pinot Bistro is an exemplar of the genre, offering textural complexity and layers of flavor that blend savory hits of pure pork with hints of dried fruit sweetness. In our next installment, Mary teaches us how to make a countryfied French foie gras terrine.
[Step-by-step photo gallery after the jump. Full recipe at the very end of the post.]
Drain the cooked pork of its excess fat, then spread out pieces of pork to cool for 30 minutes.
Set aside half of the pork and shred it using two forks.
When you're done shredding, it should look like this.
Take the other half of the pork, and place in a mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of dried fruit compote (recipe at the end of the photo gallery) or your favorite marmalade.
Add a generous pinch of black pepper and 1 tablespoon of coarse salt.
Add 1/4 cup of either the fat or stock used for cooking. Mary recommends duck fat, if you can get your hands on it.
Paddle pork in the mixer to break down to rough pâté consistency.
This is what it should look like.
Using your hands, fold the shredded pork into the "pâté" and season with another heavy pinch of salt and pepper -- to taste.
When you're done mixing it by hand, it should look like this.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of a pork rillette made the previous day, brought to room temperature and drizzled with duck fat (left) vs. a colder, freshly made rillette.
Mary likes to serve his pork rillette with warm, freshly grilled bread brushed with olive oil.